Was Kyagulanyi overly ambitious in believing the West would support his regime change struggle?

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Robert Kyagulanyi, aka Bobi Wine, the leader of the National Unity Platform (NUP) party, has relentlessly appealed to the West since 2017 to support his regime change struggle in Uganda.

In an article titled “My Torture at the Hands of America’s Favorite African Strongman,” published on July 29, 2020, in the New York Times, Kyagulanyi accused the Government of Uganda, President Museveni, and security (UPDF, Police) of gross human rights violations.

On February 8, 2022, Kyagulanyi asked the European Parliament to stop funding Uganda, calling the current regime “dictatorial”. This was one of the prominent appeals Kyagulanyi was making to the West.

It should be noted that this has been his strategy to cause regime change, a campaign he announced as early as 2017, shortly after joining politics. He has made endless visits and meetings with various high-profile Europeans, hoping it would work to his advantage.

However, the same people and countries that patiently listened and visited Uganda after his accusations found totally different stories in reality.

In early April 2022, two human rights envoys from the US and EU visited Uganda on a fact-finding mission regarding torture claims made by Kyagulanyi and the NUP group. The visit, according to some political commentators, yielded more results in terms of winning more funding for Uganda from the West.

On November 17, 2022, the United States Mission in Uganda, through the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), announced a Ugx7.5 billion grant to fund a three-year initiative to strengthen Uganda’s regional platforms to pursue sound, evidence-based development initiatives informed by local priorities.

The US has remained supportive of Uganda, especially in the security sector, where it has continued to closely partner with the UPDF, which Kyagulanyi had rubbished.

The US has also remained a strong ally of the UPDF in Somalia and the Central African Republic to restore peace and order, and it is appreciated for upholding high morals, discipline, and professionalism.

Recently, Kyagulanyi’s hope for support from the West faded to a paltry state when US President Joe Biden invited President Museveni for the US-AFRICAN summit, where critical economic, health, and governance issues were discussed and resolved. The US President announced billions of dollars in support and investment for Africa including Uganda.

“The United States is all in on Africa’s future,” President Biden told the 49 African leaders attending the Washington, DC, meeting.

At the same summit, President Museveni was praised for the proper management of the COVOD-19 pandemic.

President Museveni spoke passionately about how health is approached in Uganda.

“In Uganda, we approach health with two strategies: preventive health care and curative interventions if somebody gets sick.” President Museveni

In light of the above, can Kyagulanyi comfortably say he has the west wrapped around his fingers and they can lead him to his much desired destination, or is he playing a different rhythm and dancing to a different tune?

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